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The life of Dr Halliday Sutherland was one which contains many object lessons for modern life, including:
- Speaking truth to power. In support of the urban poor, Sutherland attacked Neo-Malthusians and Eugenists which brought him face-to-face with ruin. He spoke against the Catholic Church in Ireland and sought the truth about the Magdalene Laundries.
- Resilience. Sutherland was confronted by death as a doctor and during the First World War. He faced ruin when he spoke out against eugenics. His manuscript for Arches of the Years was rejected many, many times before it placed him on the Publisher’s Weekly list of international best-sellers. His ability to keep going in the face of crushing disappointments was what brought him eventual success.
- Reinvention. Sutherland’s obituary in the British Medical Journal referred to the “many resources of wit and courage of a man who packed three careers into his 77 years”.
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